The small rural town of Sunnyvale in Dallas County has a pretty fascinating history, as the amalgamation of the four towns of Hatterville, Long Creek, Tripp, and New Hope in the 1950s. A storm in the 1920s wiped out the most prosperous of these towns, New Hope, where shops, stores, and an annual fair called the Gala Days took place. The rest of the towns came together to form Sunnyvale, a name that the students of Tripp-Long Creek school gave to the town during a citywide school contest. Nowadays Sunnyvale ISD has three highly-rated schools and a population of approximately 7,000. Let’s head to Sunnyvale in eastern Dallas County for this week’s Suburb Sunday and three great homes to consider.

Seven-Bedroom Executive Retreat for Only $700k


102 Skyline A

Gone with the Wind was a childhood favorite of mine, with its winding storyline, genteel fashion, and dramatic romances. In one memorable scene, Scarlett’s father, Gerald O’Hara, an Irish peasant immigrant, proclaims in his rough brogue, “The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.”

That sort of mentality about the importance of land to heritage, identity, and wealth still exists, and there’s something visceral and deeply gratifying about owning actual land, as opposed to, say, stocks, which seem to exist in the ether.

If you’re an urban homeowner, the amount of land you’re likely to own is quite small, as plantations like Tara don’t exist within city limits. But there are properties in DFW with actual land, and for today’s Tuesday Two Hundred, I found one sitting on almost an acre in Collin County.

The house at 102 Skyline Dr. in Murphy is listed by William Duke of Carrington Real Estate Service for $259,000 and sits on 0.98 acres. It is located near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 544 and S. Murphy Road.

Murphy is a fast-growing bedroom community of about 18,000 residents, bordered by Plano, Richardson, Wylie, Sachse, and Parker. It’s about 20 miles from Downtown Dallas, 35 miles from DFW Airport, and 25 miles from Love Field Airport.

This house is a 2,496 square foot fixer-upper with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a pool. At $104 per square foot with all that land, I think it’s got huge potential. Jump to read all about it!


First of all, gotta love Alan Nixon! I knew him way back when he was Breckenridge-Nixon, been in a million of his Preston Hollow homes, and now he’s building a fantabulous mega manse on my old homestead at 5511 Park Lane. But this, this is Stefani, that sweet spot location right south of Walnut Hill betwixt Preston and Hillcrest. For you Mediterranean lovers, this home will make you dizzy with delight. Dramatic entry, and a gourmet kitchen with a “Keeping Room”. The Keeping Room originated in colonial times, before homes were 5,000 square feet. It was a multi-use room attached to the kitchen or open to it, complete with a fireplace for warmth. It’s an old-time concept that adds depth, warmth and activity to modern kitchens.  But the keeping room does not in any way replace the breakfast room or the family room. It’s just that in here you can eat on the sofa!

There are also four interior fireplaces, a wonderful outdoor entertaining & cooking area also with fireplace, gorgeous hardwoods, groin vault ceilings, look at that handsome paneled study WITH ACTUAL BOOKSHELVES (I cannot stand these fake dens that have like two shelves for books — I know we are all using i-pads but dens need to have bookshelves and books!), a gameroom & media room, barrel-tile roof, plus an elevator! The home was built in 2008 on almost half an acre of land — those are large lots over there  — and a whopping 7253 square feet. I think Dartmouth man Stephen Collins has it priced quite nicely at $2, 249,000, or $310. per square foot. Do you?

It’s kind of special to live in Texas where we can have horses at home if we live on one acre of land — even in the city limits! Of course, not many of us have one acre lots. That’s why you need to check out The Bridges at Preston Crossings. It may be a little bit of a drive north of Dallas — located in Gunter, love the name — but when you get up there you are home and free and in the country. Go ahead, inhale that fresh country air!

What’s that you smell? Um, yes, horses. Here’s what makes BlueGreen Community’s The Bridges so darn special and gives it an edge over other communities: a first class equestrian center for all homeowners right in your backyard. In fact, this Saturday, May 14th the Bridges celebrates the grand opening of the brand-spanking new Bridges Equestrian Center. If you are house hunting, pop on up for the official first opening of the stable doors of this first-class facility. Open the doors, let the horse out! The center will be offering boarding, lessons, riding and private events.

Once the playground for international polo players and Dallas’ elite, The Bridges Equestrian Center is now the perfect paradise for horse and riding enthusiasts. Guests of the Grand Opening celebration will enjoy the opportunity to tour the community, as well as the equestrian center’s three premium barns for boarding, indoor riding area, lighted outdoor arena with grandstands, boarder’s lounge, and miles of groomed, wooded trails.

Now if I didn’t have THEE WEDDING of the decade to go to — yes, Kari Schlegel of Allie Beth Allman is getting married on Saturday, I’d be up there boots in hand. So maybe on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

See, if mom likes to ride, every day would be Mother’s Day at The Bridges!

WHAT: Bridges Equestrian Center Grand Opening

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2011, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Bridges at Preston Crossings

17970 FM 121

Gunter, Texas 75078

News flash: Wade and Laurie Phillips just listed their Preston Hollow home on Norway with Allie Beth Allman. Wade, son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips, is off to Houston. He bought the house in 2007 for about $2,800,000 — Allie Beth was their agent, then, too. Asking: $3,295,000. No pics in MLS just yet, but the house is gorgeous and so walkable to St. Marks School of Texas. 8173 square feet on almost a one-half acre of land, the home was built in 2006 and I think — don’t quote me — the Phillips are the second owners. In any case, it comes fully decked and dressed to be a gorgeous family home with plenty of great space for entertaining — wet bar, wine storage, game room, covered back porch. Stay tuned for more deets.